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Roker Riches: Safety Secured Against The Saints?

Sunderland's final home game gives our tipping team their penultimate chance to topple Luke at the top of our table - who will go for broke?

Michael Regan

Week Thirty-Six Recap

Pundit Last Week's Profit/Loss Current Balance
Luke Bowley -£5.00 £134.04
Karl Jones -£5.00 £48.25
David Boyle £16.67 £38.34
Craig Clark -£5.00 £12.71
Chris Weatherspoon N/A -£19.50
Simon Walsh -£10.00 -£86.00

Well, with Sunderland's shambles of an opening forty-five minutes and Craig Gardner's dismissal there would have been plenty that would have snatched your hand off hand a point been offered along with a half-time chicken-balti pie on Monday night. That said, Sunderland's inability to take all three points from the game cost our tipping team who all had confidence in the lads getting the job done.

My tried and tested bet for most of the season of under 2.5 goals came in, along with a nice little profit of just over sixteen-quid. Still nowhere near enough to get anywhere close to Luke's total though.

Onto this week's picks:

David Boyle

With Danny Graham's prolonged dry-spell infront of goal the talk early this week seems to point towards a return to action for Connor Wickham and given Sunderland's lack of other goalscoring options I fancy young Connor to show the former Swansea man where the back of the net is. Wickham to score at anytime is available at a not too shabby 12/5.

Elsewhere I am going to opt for an obvious double but one that should be safe and hopefully warrant a fairly decent lump as I look to get up the leaderboard - Manchester United and Manchester City to win.

  • Connor Wickham to score anytime - 12/5 - £5.00 Stake
  • Manchester United and Manchester City to win - 1.95 - £15.00 Stake

Craig Clark

Well, Sunderland remain as unpredictable as ever. Who'd have thought a team that looked so abject with 11 men would end up grabbing a draw when reduced to 10? A repeat of the stalemate with Stoke City against Southampton this weekend would not guarantee safety but it would go a long way to securing it. Wigan have a cup final to contest before tough games against Arsenal and Villa and with our superior goal difference a four point cushion should be enough going into the final week of the season. I fancy us to achieve at least that.

The most interesting aspect of the penultimate round of fixtures centres around the relegation battle we find ourselves in. I can see one of the other sides in the mix, Newcastle, all but guarantee safety this weekend with a win, while Norwich will continue to find themselves in danger of the drop by losing to West Brom.

  • Sunderland to win or draw (double chance) - 4/11 - £10 stake
  • Newcastle and West Brom to win - £2 stake returns £14.72

Simon Walsh

While it seems there's no knowing which Sunderland will turn up, I can only hope it's got to be a better one than the last two outings.

With this in mind I'm backing Danny Graham to break his goal-drought. Why? Well someone has to score and law of averages says he HAS to score eventually. This could be his week.

Elsewhere, between the play-offs and the FA Cup there's not much to go with so I'm sticking to a double within the Premier League. West Brom have to get back to winning ways against Norwich, while Everton should beat West Ham at home.

  • Danny Graham to score and Sunderland to win - 10/1 - £10 Stake
  • West Brom & Everton to win - 4/1 - £5 Stake

Luke Bowley

After heroically scraping a crucial point on Monday, Sunderland's are on the verge of safety and any result at home to Southampton should secure the clubs Premier League status for another season. However they face a tricky Southampton side, who themselves aren't safe, and are filled with talented player such as Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin. With the club missing their three top scorers, and with Danny Graham not being especially good at football, the responsibility will fall on Adam Johnson to produce some magic. Luckily, he was excellent against Stoke and I'd fancy him to go one better on Sunday and get a goal.

Meanwhile, I've spent the day trawling through all the betting sites the world has to offer, including some which only allowed you to bet in limbs as opposed to currency, and I've yet to find one offering me odds on Dave Whelan to score the FA Cup Final winner with whichever leg he broke all those years ago. Magic of the Cup indeed. Alas, I shall have to place my money elsewhere, so I'm putting it on Liverpool to beat Fulham, because Fulham are rubbish.

  • Adam Johnson to score anytime - 4/1 - £5 stake
  • Liverpool to beat Fulham - 11/10 - £5 stake

Karl Jones

Having hemorrhaged funds in the last couple of weeks, backing Sunderland may not be the wisest of choices, but the second half performance against Stoke leaves room for optimism - providing that no-one else short fuses and does what Craig Gardner did on Monday. Again it may not be pretty, but Sunderland know that three points will secure their Premier League status, and a narrow win looks the surest option.

Elsewhere, we'll stay in the Premier League and Chelsea are likely to ensure a top-four finish with a win at Aston Villa. Everton's final home game is quite likely going to be David Moyes' last time in the home dugout at Goodison Park, so the onus will be on signing off with a win there and I'm hoping that Queen's Park Rangers' band of merry mercenaries prolong Newcastle's anxious end to the season. Unfortunately they may not have enough cohesion to actually win the game, with a draw a safe-ish pick.

  • Sunderland to beat Southampton by a one-goal margin - 10/3 - £10 stake
  • Chelsea to beat Aston Villa, Everton to beat West Ham, QPR and Newcastle to draw - 10.24 - £10 stake

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